Category Archives: Tips to sell your home

Short Sale Colorado

Short sales can be painful.  Add to that, the concern, that the bank may come after you years later, for a deficiency, a tax consequence or send you a 1099 or promissory note to payback the deficiency. All of these can be devastating to your finances,  often spinning short sellers into bankruptcy. A short sale takes about 3 years to overcome, a bankruptcy can double that, foreclosure can add more time. The title to the property may be clouded by a deficiency or a judgement which can also cause future issues.  If the short sale is not done properly and in a timely manner it can lead to foreclosure.

What would you think if all of the problems with a short sale could be negotiated away and done in a timely manner? No deficiency! No tax consequence! No 1099! No promissory note! Short sales are tough enough on the homeowner. They don’t need to complicate your life and make it worse and spin you in to bankruptcy.

We work with investors who utilize their own in house negotiators to negotiate all the guesswork out of short sales. We can negotiate away the tax consequence(s), the 1099, the promissory note, the deficiency. What this means to you is no further problems or issues to deal with in the future. It is a clean short sale. No future surprises.

We can help you. Call me today to see if you qualify for a short sale. We can help take the pain part out of the short sale process.

Michael grew up around Santa Fe and is a longtime resident of Boulder and has been with Sotheby’s International Realty since their inception in Boulder County and along the front range.  If you have questions regarding a clean short sale or would like information about Boulder real estate or Boulder Luxury Real Estate check out my website. You may also call or TEXT me 303-359-6627 or e-mail Michael Hughes is a Certified Negotiation Expert and full time Realtor at Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty in Boulder, CO.

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Divorce and Selling Your Home

Posted by Michael Hughes – Sothebys International Realty-Boulder

Once in awhile, the most satisfying days for real estate agent Michael Hughes of Sothebys International Realty in Boulder, Colorado are the ones when he goes to a listing appointment and the homeowner says no he doesn’t want to sell. “I love ‘No’s. Don’t get me wrong I love Yes’s as well but it has to be a good fit for me as well as the divorcing couple.” Says Hughes. First it has to be a good fit for them, a good fit for me and the house has to be a Sotheby’s quality home.

I specialize in Boulder real estate sales related to divorce, a niche I cultivated after my own marriage ended several years ago and I became painfully conscious of the uncertainty and apprehension that can surround this major marital asset.

Going through a divorce is confusing and anxiety inducing. I wasn’t sure of what to do with my house after the divorce and all my friends were giving advice. I love my friends however I am glad I didn’t listen to them as it was some of the worst advice.

I decided that the financial strife that goes hand in hand with divorce must be universal. Any real estate agent who focuses on divorce-related sales not only is going to have to be able to endure a certain amount of pressure and potential friction, but also has to tread a fine line between empathy and business like detachment.

When I started listing and selling houses of couples divorcing, the tendency would be to want to listen (to sellers discussing their marital breakups), after awhile I set my boundaries and realized they needed to talk to therapists not me about their marital strife. I am a Realtor I can help them move on by helping them get their home sold quickly and efficiently. I keep a list of therapists, lenders, insurance agents, mediators and financial planners handy at all times.

I work as a transaction broker.  I represent both divorcees in the sale of their Boulder real estate. Often this requires a double set of every communication and separate and often equal approvals for each decision.

When it is a court ordered sale then it must be done and it is a matter of showing both parties that I can represent them both rationally and safely and that they are both safe. I will not bias to one side or the other as a Transaction Broker ever.

If you are divorcing please give me a call. I can help.

If you have questions regarding this article or have any questions about Boulder or would like information about Boulder Real Estate check out my website. You may also call or TEXT me 303-359-6627 or e-mail Michael Hughes at Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty in Boulder, CO.

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Selling your home in Boulder…do you want to sell it or keep your pets happy?

By Michael Hughes  October 1, 2010

Are you trying to sell your home in Boulder? Does your house smell like dogs, cats or gerbels in any form?  Are cat boxes out? Has the dog made the backyard a non negotiable obstacle course? Clean it up!  Now! Is your home safe for buyers to be there, with your pets, when you are not there?

We all love our pets but a couple things every home seller must be brutally honest about – are my pets stinking up my home and making it hard for buyers to see or concentrate on my home? More specifically:

1. Are there pet stains on your carpet?

Does your house smell like dog pee, cat poop or hamster?  If it does, clean it up immediately, deodorize it or move it.  Have your carpets professionally cleaned or replaced.  Clean the cat box the backyard and the hamster cage daily!  This is not an option if you want to get your home sold.

2. Is your home safe for buyers to be there, with your pets, when you are not there? If the answer is Yes – you are good to go.

Your hamster is cozy in his cage and his wheel is well oiled with WD40.  Your cat is happy to nap on the bed and is not an escape artist ready to dart out any time the door opens.  You don’t have to make buyers wait for you to run home and get the pets ready.  As the saying goes time kills deals, even a little time and if the buyer can’t see the home it is soon forgotten.

If the answer is No, then consider the following.

Make a safe area in your home where you can temporarily confine your pet – so they are safe and visiting buyers are safe.  Crate your dog and confine your cat. Sometimes even cats attack surprised home buyers, check this out:

Of course we love our pets – But Potential Buyers May Not

If your pets are large, vicious, scared, overly affectionate, pee when visitors arrive, or have any behavioral or personality or physical characteristics that might put someone off, consider relocating them to a safe environment.  Perhaps your mother-in-laws house. Just temporarily,  until your home sells.   Put them in the laundry room, or in the kitchen with a baby gate.  Or in the backyard. Just think about how much easier it is buyers to see your home when it is convenient for them, rather than when it is convenient for your pet(s).

I can help you. If you have questions about this article or anything give me a call anytime. Michael Hughes-Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty 303-359-6627 or you can visit my website at www.BolderRealEstate.com

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Drugs, Guns and Money…so what does that have to do with selling my home?

By Michael Hughes              September 29, 2010

So, your Boulder County home is for sale.  There’s a lock box on the front door, a sign in the yard and a daily prayer for a steady stream of motivated, qualified buyers to come through.  What valuables should you protect or remove when you open your home to Realtors and their clients?  Especially during open houses the list may surprise you.

1. Prescription Drugs – All prescription meds are a target for theft by unknown visitors to your home.  And you may not find it hard to believe that the most popular drugs for visitors to pinch from your medicine cabinets and drawers and swiftly deposit into their pockets are the three V’s Viagra, Valium and Vicodin! Don’t even get me started on the three O’s Oxcontin, etc etc. Don’t give anyone the chance to lift these prescription drugs from your premises! Protect all your prescription meds by locking them up, storing them away, out of sight and in an unlikely, inaccessible area, in other words not the medicine cabinet.  This holds true not only when you are marketing your home for sale but also when you have anyone unknown whether it is the gardener, repairmen or contractors in and out of your home.  Just fyi.

2. Small electronics – Ipods, Ipads, Ipones, Cell phones, GameBoys, Kindles, and laptop computers are also a target for easy pickins – easy to slip into a pocket while touring your super WOW  home.  While agents who are with their clients have a mindful eye on your home, they are not familiar with your personal belongings and cannot always be watching their group of clients.  Picture a family of 5 –Mom, Dad, Jessica, Robert and Scott.  All go meandering through the house at their own pace and in the rooms that interest them most.  Allen the Agent isn’t going to be able to watch all the hands and pockets – nor will Allen the Agent be able to spot when something valuable of yours is not in its place.  Be pro-active and place all valuable or small electronics out of sight and as inaccessible as possible.  (Get the drift here?  Out of sight out of mind and inaccessible.)

3. Jewelry or Cash – watches, rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, cash, credit cards – anything of real or sentimental value –  say it with me  – “Out of sight, out of mind.” Don’t tempt anyone to help themselves to your pretty baubles, bangles, bling, bling or cash.

4. Guns and Ammo – Seriously.  Sellers says, “Michael, should my husband take the Glock and ammo box out of the upstairs bedroom while our house is on the market.”  Are you kidding me? Hello?  Yes!  Put the guns out of sight and make them absolutely inaccessible.  Locked in a gun safe is your safest bet.  And put the bullets somewhere else entirely, out of sight and inaccessible.  And any other weapons or sharp swords, knives, etc. Locked up, Locked up, Locked up!

So there it is – what valuables every (Boulder County) Home Seller needs to stow away out of sight and put in an inaccessible area to prevent unexpected and costly loss.

If you have questions about this article or anything give me a call anytime. Michael Hughes-Fuller Sothebys International Realty=303-359-6627 or you can visit my website at www.BolderRealEstate.com

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Attention Boulder County Homesellers

By Michael Hughes                             September 27, 2010

So your house didn’t  sell?  Selling your home in a buyers market can be, to say the least, challenging, but here are some suggestions to help tip the scales in your favor. All the hours spent vacuuming and making beds and putting your stuff away and keeping dishes out of the sink and physically leaving your home, so complete strangers, who never make an offer, could look inside your drawers, your closets or even your medicine cabinets.  Or even worse, you get your house ready to show every day and no one comes. Really!

There are only three reasons why your  home won’t sell in today’s Boulder County Real Estate Market

1.      Emotional Appeal, that get ‘em in the gut, what I like to call the WOW factor

2.    Price (oh yeah, the money part)

3.    Exposure (what we Realtors call “Marketing” 21st Century Style)

How WOW is your house?  The more WOW – the wider appeal it has to a larger group of buyers.  The better you’ll be at grabbing those picky buyers in their gut – where they’re vulnerable and they get all mushy and emotional.  Low WOW – well just be realistic about the price.  And about how your house stacks up against the competition.  You have checked out your competition, haven’t you?

How have you priced your house?

  1. Below market value? Trying to start that feeding frenzy that’s got people more riled up than a Democrat on the Fox News Network?  Hope you can handle the volume of offers  and have a great Realtor to help you see the pros and cons of each offer.
  2. Right at market value? – good for you – now get in the groove and get ready for an offer.
  3. Over market value? Meaning, more than 1 red cent,  over what any other similar home has sold for in the last 3 months. Similar (size, bedroom count, lot size, upgrades, condition, location….) and actually SOLD in the last 3 months – not what some other confused seller has their somewhat similar home listed for .

So – when you’re ready to get real about getting your house sold. Give me a call.  I can help.

Michael Hughes. Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty-Boulder  www.BolderRealEstate.com or you can reach me at 303-359-6627

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Get Your Home Sold Quicker At A Higher Price-14 Kick Ass Tips

Studies Show Staging Increases Selling Price

By Michael Hughes February 4, 2010

Showing activity is the strongest the first few weeks get all these things done first, then show your home in its best light.

  1. Have a pre-inspection done. Fix any problems on the inspection list. This will alleviate many problems up-front.
  2. Set the right price. A seller may think she’s just testing the market with a high price tag, assuming buyers will at least make an offer, but buyers may assume she’s unreasonable and move on. Your goal should be a fair price — something that’s reasonable given the price of other homes in your area. Buyers who are actively searching for a fairly-priced home will aggressively pursue what they perceive as fair market value.
  3. Use a buyer’s point of view to make your analysis.  How desirable is it? Truly? Take a buyer’s view.
  4. Look through listed properties in your neighborhood that are similar to yours.  Make yours better.
  5. Make sure when you walk through your property that it flows easily and that the rooms are not congested with furnishings, family photos or knick knacks.
  6. Properly staging your home will ensure a quick sale at a higher price than an un-staged home. The property needs to look good starting at the street. Attractive, inviting and well cared for. In other words neat as a pin, good colors, fresh paint and a trimmed attractive front yard.
  7. Odors are a huge turn-off to potential buyers.  Do not cook with heavy garlic or spices during this period also take that cat box out of the laundry room and get some odor controlling kitty litter. Keep air fresh in closets and bathrooms. Bake cookies to give an inviting aroma.
  8. Windows especially with views need to be washed inside and out.
  9. Install the brightest bulbs possible to light rooms. This is no time to be “green.”
  10. Make sure you have sorted and donated unnecessary items, clothing and furnishings you no longer use. Get a tax receipt for these to deduct.
  11. Containerize off-season clothes, shoes and coats and store.
  12. Clean like you have never cleaned before.  Trim, mow and clean the outdoors for drive-bys. Clean the closets, the bedrooms, the bathrooms, the kitchen and the oven(s).  Bathtubs and sinks should be spotless and freshly caulked.  Put fresh towels and soap in bathrooms. Replace shower curtains if necessary.
  13. Noise and toys to a minimum. Keep toys in one area.  Keep televisions, radios and music off.  Get pets outdoors or confined to their area. While some of us love our pets not everyone shares the same feeling.
  14. Keeping your home showing ready will be money in your pocket.  Develop a routine. Before each showing. Pick up every room! Turn on all lights! Open all drapes, shades and blinds.    Baking cookies or a coffee cake in the oven has a long lasting inviting effect. Television and Radio off, less is more. Fireplace in winter may be on, otherwise off. Air conditioning if the weather is warm have you’re a/c on to bring the house to a comfortable temperature if cold have the home heated to a comfy temperature. Entryway; This is the first and last impression made. Make it clean and inviting. Open all interior doors to give an inviting feeling

When you leave your house for the day, feel good knowing you have done everything in your control to make your house stand out from all the competition.

When you have questions about this list or any Boulder Real Estate question please give me a call at 303-359-6627.  You may also e-mail Michael Hughes.

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